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Mikey_205

Races - Don't stick to Tolkien

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So long as it does not include short elves with long ears like Dragon Age I will be happy.

 

Tolkien Elves and Dwarves are fine in my books.

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The traditional fantasy races in it are kinda the point in a way. They are going to put their own twists on all of them/subvert them.

 

Everyone does that now, though. Witcher did it. Dragon Age did it. Warhammer and Warcraft both did it in their quirky ways before that. And just about every different D&D setting has a half dozen categories of elves and dwarves anyway.

 

 

Ah, but this is *Obsidian*. They have their own way of subverting things and asking questions about our preconceptions that other devs don't really do, and I doubt they'd be as transparent about their edgy edgy look at me I'm subverting!! subversion attempts as Bioware or even CD Projekt. (Not to say they're bad, but it's painfully obvious that they're trying TOO hard to be different sometimes, DA more than Witcher). From what they've said about cultures and ethnicities, it seems to be heading that way, and I'm interested in where they're taking it TBH.


Sword Sharpener of the Obsidian Order

(will also handle pitchforks and other sharp things)

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I'd love for a lizardman type of race. I never used to be a fan of them but recently I've been playing a Sauran Gladiator in Talislanta and I'm really finding it interesting.

 

It's a fun departure and tricky roleplaying as well since I'm playing a cold blooded reptile instead of a warm blooded mammal. I'm trying to think like a sentient reptile would think and it's really very fun and gives me a unique play experience.

 

For instance, some might consider the character evil since he has no qualms with eating other sentients. Thing is though, the other sentients are mammals and thus not even remotely closely related to him genetically so it's not cannibalism at all. He doesn't view the other races as necessarily inferior (well, other than the ones that are inferior to him), he's a bit harsh and selfish but again, that doesn't make him evil. Anyways, it's hard to explain since I'm at work and cannot go into some huge post about the character, I'll just leave it at saying that it would give the writers something fun to write with, something that usually isn't dealt with, especially since lizardmen often are written as having very similar outlooks as other races.

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I realize that, yes. Just replying to the idea that the Witcher has subverted before and therefore PE shouldn't subvert again! The original mention was for the game, not for the book, and I thought that it'd be obvious.

 

(If we're bringing 'but books has subverted traditional fantasy before!' into the argument, though, we'd be here all year....)


Sword Sharpener of the Obsidian Order

(will also handle pitchforks and other sharp things)

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I've seen enough of traditional races, but I'm ready to see them again.I just hope new race will appear when there is a need for it and we won't end with long eared or bearded people. If we need some people who live whole life underground then humans don't really fit. If we need some neutral race with average abilities and which can live everywhere then... wait, do we even need such race?

Imagine the possibilities of role-playing a troll.

We are on forum, everyone can imagine that. :)

Edited by Milten
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What I find interesting is that the general feeling over here (not too traditional, devs!) is completely the opposite of the firearms thread (please be more traditional, devs!).

 

I think you can still do interesting things with elves and dwarves. Elves needn't be the haughty superior race or the poor, victimized race. They can be both (multiple elven cultures) or something else entirely (technologically advanced race, naval empire, etc.). The same goes for dwarves.

 

I would like to see what Obsidian's planning for their "unusual" races though.

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"Understanding is a three-edged blade."

"Vivis sperandum: Where there is life, there is hope."

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I realize that, yes. Just replying to the idea that the Witcher has subverted before and therefore PE shouldn't subvert again! The original mention was for the game, not for the book, and I thought that it'd be obvious.

 

(If we're bringing 'but books has subverted traditional fantasy before!' into the argument, though, we'd be here all year....)

 

That's fair but it still seems to me that, with subversion becoming the trend that it has, every franchise that uses those races is going to have to play subversion-leapfrog to out-subvert the last guy. Whether that is subtle and intelligent (as we hope and expect P:E to be) or clumsy and poorly considered (the way that, say, Warcraft subverts things, to scrape the bottom of the barrel), we're still seeing what is essentially a domino effect as each new franchise scrambles to find a new shade of lipstick to put on the same courtesan.

 

If everyone is subverting, what is the point of all choosing the same mold to deviate from? Well, the instant familiarity of knowing what an elf and a dwarf is, sure, but that's a double edge on account of the fact that many of the people who are attracted by the familiarity of a specific race like the elf are then subsequently alienated when that race deviates too much from the mold (ala, "these elves are too short", "those elves are too feral").

 

Tolkien races come with so much baggage, both in terms of what people expect they should be (if you don't live up to that, you're doing it wrong), what edgy new things other people expect you should do with them (..and if you don't live up to that, you're also doing it wrong), and the new things that other franchises are doing with them (which your innovations will be juxtaposed against).

 

Obviously we're getting them for P:E now so we'll have to see how they are done, but the baggage will still come into play and in a vague, general future-ish way I hope that franchise-builders stop using the same mold if they only intend to break it anyways.

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smart ogres...now that i would like to see :)


"if everyone is dead then why don't i remember dying?"

—a clueless sod to a dustman

 

"if we're all alive then why don't i remember being born?"

—the dustman's response

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The purpose of the fantasy genre is to depict something new, intriguing, and fantastical. Using a concept that has been used again and again is antithetical to the fundamental point of the genre. There are an unlimited number of potential ideas for fictional races, and if anyone has the imagination to conceive of them it's you guys. Please, please don't compromise your project with rote fantasy elements lifted from a billion other sources, serving only to bore your audience to tears. We've seen all that before - wouldn't it be better to experience something truly fantastical and new? It's whole the point of writing fantasy!

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I'm not really especially a fan of Tolkienesque high fantasy these days more than I am of any other given fantasy setting. But I will nonetheless agree with those who point out that elves, dwarves, and the like, are categories built on an incredible wealth of folklore, which elegantly ties in to core themes within the human experience in fairly fundamental ways (which is how it became folklore in the first place, after all). And this wealth of context and folklore simply isn't available, if one is working with a wholly invented race, or collection of them. So one shouldn't just idly decide to invent a new world, simply on the basis that new things are better, when existing ones have so many more stories to tell.

 

Using familiar mythological categories and frameworks gets one past lengthy world narrative basics and the nitty-gritty of broader setting explanations, and lets one start talking about specific characters, their motives, their ideas, their frustrations and their intentions much more readily. It lets one move on to the way the setting is evolving, or the crisis it is moving towards, rather than necessitating constant retreading of where it's been and why it is that way.

 

There are times and places for newly invented races and cultural contexts. But a game which is more interested in the story of a group of characters than it is in the revelation of a world for the world’s sake is probably better off not reinventing the wheel, as far as fantasy world archetypes go.

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I agree that a variety of different/unique races is good. However, I also enjoy the regular fantasy races as well. I primarily like them because the game creators understand these races themselves, and so it will be easier for them to inject an interesting/enjoyable personality into each of them. Who doesn't love the boisterous orc-crushing dwarf? Or the aloof elf, who is distant at first but then warms up to you and tells you tales of the ancient days that all others have forgotten? Grant it, they could do that with any race, but a dwarf "character" is a dwarf and an "Elf" is an Elf, making them look different, calling them something else, doesn't change who they really are. I think the best solution would be to have the most common races, but, also add a few truly unique races along side them, instead of just modeling another race after the ones we know and love, and calling them something else. That, to me, is just busy work.


The Obsidian Orders Royal Pain

"Ouch"

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It's interesting how limited the concept of fantasy has become. Fantasy is totally open by definition, it's limited only by imagination, so it really shouldn't just automatically be about elves, dwraves, etc. Fantasy in literature is not as limited but I think that games tend to incorporate the most popular, mainstream elements of fantasy literature and create a sort of paradigm where expansion tends to be resisted. It's not necessarily about creating a lot of new races, more about the exploaration of new possibilities for characters and races, different forms of communication, different alternatives for dealing with dialogue, character relationships, etc. One of the things I really liked about Divinity 2: The Dragon Knight Saga was that it was very flexible, you could fairly easily add a few skills from other classes outside your normal class to create a different kind of character. I would like to see that flexibility in a new RPG, rather than getting locked into certain traditional roles.

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Yea, hope the other races are at least original, they might put a new spin, but in the end, they are just elves and dwarves, either going to be pretty close to the sterotype, or changing it so much that you wonder why they used elves and dwarves and didn't just create something new.

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I'd like to see something like a semi-aquatic race (like selkies or mermaids) or something like dryads that are bound to a specific tree and die when its cut down, or, failing that, something completely off the wall.


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How do you make a traditional RPG without including these staples. They may be dressed up and made original and different, but if they were taken out id be far less interested for one.

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How do you make a traditional RPG without including these staples. They may be dressed up and made original and different, but if they were taken out id be far less interested for one.

 

There are a quite a few pen and paper RPG fantasy games without using elves/dwarves,etc, The connan pen and paper RPG doesn't for example. Then you have a bazillion fantasy books that does not have elves/dwarves/dragons..etc but, are still considered a traditional fantasy setting.

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Making up new races isn't so simple in fantasy as it is science fiction. The time-tested races are still here for a reason. Best to let them do variations on a theme. Or they could go the Elder Scrolls route and have us play as Lizard people and furries, which I rather they didn't.

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If we are really wanting to be creative: Every single universe has humans on it, and they are allways the predominant race. Even Planescape has this cliche. What if humans are the strangers this time? The outsiders?

 

Dont get me wrong, I like castles, towns and medieval citys. But I would love 100% more a game where im going through more "alien" places: like when you are in the "survival of the fit" underdark , the "matriarchal-backstabbing" drow city or "Semi magic-tree city" Suldanessellar in BG2. Or the infernal planes, the modron mace, undead nations and even Sigil with his "doors everywhere" in Planescape. Those kind of places look and feel diferent, couse they are made not from/for a traditional/medieval human perspective even if they are super d&d classic and/or cliche.

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SCUK IT DWARF HATERS!!! DWARVES IN TYHE GAME! DWARVES ARE IN THE GAME! LONG LIVE DWARVES!


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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How do you make a traditional RPG without including these staples. They may be dressed up and made original and different, but if they were taken out id be far less interested for one.

 

There are a quite a few pen and paper RPG fantasy games without using elves/dwarves,etc, The connan pen and paper RPG doesn't for example. Then you have a bazillion fantasy books that does not have elves/dwarves/dragons..etc but, are still considered a traditional fantasy setting.

 

You make a good point, I didnt explain myself enough, in the context of this game and being up to 4 or 5 races now, i cant see Dwarven of Elven being left out, if it was one or two races, sure they could be differing humanoids or Faction specific, and I feel that is kind of waht Obsidian are aiming at, a pen and paper mature setting throwback style RPG.

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